Wednesday, October 20, 2010

13 Things You Should Know About Pumpkins

October’s well upon us and pumpkins are everywhere: in grocery stores, at farm stands and on front porches carved as jack o’ lanterns. This ubiquitousness of pumpkins comes as no surprise: October is the month we harvest pumpkins and lots of Americans feel compelled to use them in their Halloween or Thanksgiving celebrations.
But how much do you really know about pumpkins? Here are some "riveting" facts I’ve dug up.

1. In 2008, America's pumpkin-producing states harvested 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins. That's billion, not millions. ...
2. More than 90% of the processed pumpkins come from the state of Illinois.
.3. Pumpkins originated in ... Central America.
4.Pumpkins are a member of the cucurbit family, along with squash and cucumbers.
5.Pumpkins come in all sizes. The smallest are less than a pound while some of the largest can top 1,000 pounds.
6. The Irish introduced the idea of pumpkin-carving to the United States. But here's something you didn't know: Those good folks from Ireland originally carved ... turnips.
7. Pumpkins are more than things to carve into jack o’ lanterns. Did you know you can eat the pumpkin flowers?
8. Here's one point that all good cooks are well aware of: Pumpkins can be made into pies, breads and soups.
9. Some people relish pumpkins for their potassium and vitamin A .
10. Others like to snack on seeds baked with a touch of garlic salt.
11. Pumpkins were a popular snack for Native Americans. They would roast pumpkin strips over fire.
12. Native Americans also made mats from flattened and dried pumpkin strips.
13. Native Americans also used pumpkins for medicine. Some believed that pumpkin pulp could cure freckles while others considered pumpkins a remedy for snake bites.

... I’ve never eaten roasted pumpkin strips, but I might just try them soon. It's a perfect opportunity -- when my family and I are carving pumpkins and toasting seeds this season.
Do you have any pumpkin traditions? Or perhaps a good pie recipe? Please share.



  1. Cucurbit is my new word today. Thanks.

  2. Hazel,
    I like learning new words too. I'm glad we could share this one. :)

  3. Hey ibeati,
    Thanks for stopping by.

  4. me ma would probably be in the group of people who relish the pumpkin for its nutrients.
    Great lists

  5. Joanna,
    Yep,your Me Ma is wise, I'll bet. Lots of people think about what they eat and try to make healthy choices.

  6. Actually I did know about the turnips. About 15 year ago we hollowed turnips out into candle holders for an ancestral procession on Halloween. So that's been in the back of my head ever since. I did not, however, know pumpkin flowers were edible. Thanks :)

    Happy TT,

    13 Lessons If You Ever Find Yourself In A Horror Movie

  7. Xakara,
    I've never hollowed out turnips and carved them, but it might be something to try--maybe I will this year. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Wonderful facts!

    Have a great Thursday!

  9. They also are good for facials and hair conditioning! I love pumpkin...

    Thanks for visiting. :-)

  10. Wow, I didn't know all this about pumpkins. I just know my favorite pie is pumpkin.

    Have a terrific Thursday 13. :)

  11. My canned pumpkin comes from Illinois? I had no idea.

  12. An interesting list. I used to like roasted pumpkin seeds, but have not had them in years. These days I prefer DQ's Pumpkin Pie Blizzard, Eddy's Pumpkin ice cream or the grocery store's pumpkin muffins. YUM! *g*

  13. We used to roast the pumpkin sees when carving the pumpkins. I miss having younger kids in the house.
    Happy Halloween!

  14. I am Harriet,
    Thanks. I aim to please.

  15. Mysti Holiday,
    I bet you're right. I'm going to look for some pumpkin beauty products to try.

  16. Sandee,
    Yeah, aren't pumpkin pies good?

  17. Alice Audrey,
    Yes, I think the pumpkin comes from Illinois. :)

  18. Heather,
    Pumpkin ice cream sounds good. I might have to try some.

  19. Adelle,
    Yeah, I look forward to carving pumpkins and roasting seeds. I wonder how much longer my kids will want to do to do that. Hopefully, a while more.

  20. I'm not sure I would like the pumpkin strips, I don't think I like the taste of the pumpkin's insides too much, I like the seeds with salt on them, but I've never thought of using garlic salt. Maybe they would be good covered in chocolate too! I like to carve pumpkins, but don't do it all that often. I made a Thursday 13 list too, it's here:

  21. Hey Noelle,
    I'll go check out your list.

  22. Not too many people in my family like pumpkin, and we don't have trick or treaters out here in the boonies, so pumpkins sometimes find their way to us but generally don't.

    CountryDew @ Blue Country Magic

  23. CountryDew,
    Are you very rural? Way out in the country? Do you like it? I used to enjoy visiting my grandparents' farm and walking in the woods nearby.

  24. Neat list, some of this we discovered doing a halloween unit with my daughter, the rest I'll have to add to next week's unit. Thanks for stopping by Calico Contemplations.

  25. Calico Crazy,
    I'm happy I can help you teach your daughter. Thanks for visiting.

  26. Luv the List!

    especially one told me to add garlic...

    Nice post

  27. We don't carve pumpkins in NZ, but we do eat a lot of pumpkin. There's nothing tastier than roast pumpkin. :)

  28. {S.T.U.F.F.}
    I'm glad to be helpful. I like my pumpkin seeds with garlic. :)

  29. Shelley,
    I like learning about NZ. Someday, I hope to visit.

  30. Pumpkins make good donuts too, had one last week and enjoyed in immensely.

  31. Philly Shop,
    Pumpkin donuts? They do sound good. Thanks.

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